Donna Distefano’s “The Love That Moves the Sun and the Other Stars” Ring

“I created a one-of-a-kind ring inspired by Dante’s The Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto 33, The Final Vision. I’ve studied The Divine Comedy in both English and Italian and have always loved the way the poem combines so many seemingly disparate elements: mythology, realism, love, judgment, geometry, and astronomy to name a few. In Canto 33, Dante faces God and sees ‘the Love that moves the sun and the other stars.’ It is the moment when his life on earth intersects with his life outside of this earth.”   –Donna Distefano

The ring, which features pieces of actual meteorite, was featured in the exhibit “Out of this World: Jewelry in the Space Age” at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia (November 7, 2020 – October 24, 2021). In Style magazine did a piece on it, too (see image below).

See also our previous post on Distefano’s “Elixir of Love” ring.

Contributed by Donna Distefano

Skinny Puppy, “Dig It” (1986)

Canadian industrial rock pioneers Skinny Puppy released the single “Dig It,” from their album Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (Nettwerk Records), in 1986. The cover art for the single features Gustave Doré’s illustration of Farinata degli Uberti rising from his tomb among the heretics of the sixth circle (canto 10).

Read an interview with graphic designer Steven R. Gilmore, who designed the single’s cover art, here.

Watch the official music video for Skinny Puppy’s “Dig It” on YouTube.

Contributed by Alexa Kellenberger (Florida State University ’22)

Controversial “Kiss of Dante and Beatrice” portrait, Roberto Ferri (2021)

“One of the most legendary love stories never happened. Ice cream brand Magnum has reimagined history by commissioning an original artwork inspired by Dante Alighieri and his muse Beatrice.

“For International Kissing Day (July 6) and the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, Magnum asked the renowned Italian artist Roberto Ferri—dubbed the modern Caravaggio and portrait painter of Pope Francis—to realize the love story between the poet and Beatrice.” [. . .]    –Brittaney Kiefer, Adweek, July 7, 2021

Brief video here:

Dante Body Painting Contest


Fifteen artists from around Italy met in Marina di Ravenna for the first competition of “Body Painting- Dante e la Divina Commedia” on February 23, 2019.  Il Resto del Carlino – Ravenna

Contributed by Emma Marigliano

A Tour Through Dante’s World in 80 Comics

Mappa-interattiva-giro-mondo-dantesco-80-fumetti“In 2021 the Fumettoteca Regionale Alessandro Callegati “Calle” opened an extensive gallery of Dante-related comics: “Il giro del mondo dantesco in 80 fumetti!“. It is an incredibly rich resource for students and researchers interested in the global reception of the poem in illustrations. In particular, we would highlight the interactive map (see screenshot, left), which allows users to “tour the world” of Dante comics, visualizing the transcultural, translingual reach of the poem.

“A seguito dell’adesione alla Manifestazione Nazionale #Dantedì, dal 25 al 31 marzo, e alla proposta dantesca l’evento intitolato ‘Il giro del mondo dantesco in 80 fumetti!’ per il mese di aprile 2021, la Fumettoteca Regionale Alessandro Callegati ‘Calle’ prosegue proponendo l’evento espositivo, in sede e Online, ‘Il giro del mondo dantesco in 80 fumetti! (con intelletto, curiosità e desiderio di conoscenza)‘ realizzato per la Manifestazione Nazionale ‘Il Maggio dei Libri’, con documenti consultabili, una mappa interattiva e varie Gallery espositive.

Fumettoteca-Alessandro-Callegati-Calle-Locandina-Giro-mondo-dantesco-80-fumetti“A distanza di 700 anni dalla morte di Dante Alighieri, nell’oscura selva della pandemia, ai numerosi eventi ideati per la celebrazione, non poteva mancare una ricerca su Dante al quale sono state dedicate moltissime realizzazioni fumettistiche: vignette, strisce, storie intere, parodie o didattici. Ogni immagine, per quanto distante dall’opera originaria, è approfondimento, studio, iniziazione, innovazione, ripensamento e, in ogni caso, contiguità all’opera del sommo poeta. Celebriamo, con i massimi onori, il sommo poeta con il singolare evento promosso che ha l’ambizione di mostrare moltissimi documenti fumettistici, italiani e internazionali. Per l’iniziativa sono state selezionate e riunite 80 pubblicazioni, fra le tante rintracciate, realizzate in 15 nazioni.”   –GianLuca Umiliacchi, Direttore Fumettotecario, Fanzine Italiane

Contributed by GianLuca Umiliacchi

Beatrice by William Dyce

“This painting was commissioned by [Dyce’s] friend, the Victorian prime minister WE Gladstone, a great Dante enthusiast. The model for Dante’s heroine was – at Gladstone’s request – Marian Summerhayes, an artist’s model and former prostitute “rescued” by the Liberal politician. It is possible that Dyce also used some photographic studies of the sitter to work from, which could explain the pensive stillness of his Beatrice, who is painted in three-quarter view and has a sculptured quality about it.

‘Dyce’s Beatrice sits serenely, her downcast eyes concentrating on something we cannot see within the picture space, thus elevating herself from this present to another time and place.” [. . .]    –Griffin Coe, The Guardian, May 3, 2021

This entry is part of the Guardian’s Great British Art Tour 2021

Jewelry Inspired by the Opening Lines of the Divine Comedy Contest Results

“The competition challenged BAJ students to design jewellery inspired by the opening lines of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, the Divine Comedy.

‘Ultimately,’ wrote the BAJ in a statement, ‘the quality of submissions was so high that it was impossible to choose just one design, Alighieri said. Four students have therefore been selected as the competition’s winners.’

The winners of the BAJ X Alghieri competition are Dorottya Feher, Petra Otenšlégrová, Linnea Thuning and Emma Withington.”    –Sam Lewis, Professional Jeweller, August 4, 2020

Nirvana Sued For Use of “Upper Hell” Map

“Move over smiley face. Welcome to the Seventh Circle of Hell.

“Nineties grunge-rock band Nirvana, already embroiled in a long-running legal battle against fashion company Marc Jacobs over its ‘happy face’ t-shirt designs, now finds itself on the less happy end of a new copyright infringement lawsuit worthy of Dante’s trip through the underworld.

“The complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles [in April 2021], claims that Nirvana infringed an illustration first published in a 1949 English language translation of Dante’s Inferno. The drawing depicts Dante’s circles of Upper Hell and, like Nirvana’s smiley face logo, has been featured on the band’s merchandise for decades. [. . .]”   –Aaron Moss, “Foreign Works, US Rights: The 7th Circle of Copyright Hell?” on Copyright Lately (April 30, 2021)

The disputed image was featured on the B-side of Nirvana’s debut album Bleach (Sub Pop Records, 1989).

Contributed by Jared Brust (Florida State University ’21)

Dante receives his COVID-19 vaccine

Posted to Instagram by La Repubblica and L’Espresso Settimanale illustrator Mauro Biani (@maurobia) on Dantedì (March 25) 2021. The image was also shared on La Repubblica.

Contributed by Carmelo Galati (Temple University)

“Why Dante, 700 years later, is still a hell of a journey,” Hindustani Times

A brief overview of Dante’s influence and impact on the arts and on people all over the world, and notes our own Dante Today:

[…] “The poem’s influences are so wide and far-ranging that three American universities have collaborated on a website to keep track of them all. Since 2006, Dante Today has been archiving every present-day reference to the poem, through “sightings” and “citings”. They’re pretty thorough, even adding a hot-sauce brand called 10th Circle to their archive last month.” […]    –Rachel Lopez, Hindustani Times, February 20, 2021